The facility in West Yorkshire has proven to be so popular that NewCold have actually begun to run out of space. This is despite the fact that it is already operating on a scale that is unprecedented in the UK. The demand for temperature-controlled storage has continued to soar, leaving NewCold “actively looking” for a new site. This is from the mouth of the company’s UK director, Jon Miles.
NewCold first came to the UK back in 2015, when they opened a site in Wakefield which is 40 metres high. With high levels of automation, it was a success from the off – prompting them to add an extension to the site.
That extension, which was finished in spring 2018 and then formally opened in September, included a distribution centre as well as more storage. NewCold announced then that they had committed £100 million to the build cost, and that they had created an additional 200 jobs like these at the site.
They had already planned at that time to add more investment, as well as another 70 members of staff, over the next two years. This looks to be part of that investment plan and will certainly result in the creation of more jobs.
Huge volume processing
The plant in Wakefield handles three million pallets every year, leading to a total volume of above four million cubic metres. The giant deep-freeze storage facility has enough capacity for 143,000 pallets alone. They are all kept at a temperature of -23 degrees Celsius.
The company estimates that an average of 174 pallets come into and out of the site every hour. It also take five minutes to unload the moving floor trailers, which have been made to a bespoke design, ensuring that everything can move as smoothly as possible.
One of the big features that they have focused on developing is minimal handling. The less the products are handled, the more they will be able to maintain their low temperature, which is vital for good customer experience.
The entire operation is driven by software developed by Davanti, which undergoes development year on year specifically to ensure that it is as efficient as possible at the site. Another big benefit for NewCold customers is that their dispatch bays, which are usually chilled in other facilities, are deep-frozen here.
“Not only does the facility operate at around 50% of the energy consumed by conventional deep-frozen storage sites, but also, given the proximity to the motorway network, 90% of NewCold’s delivery points can be reached and returned from within a driver’s shift,” said Miles. “This improves customer service and keeps food miles to an absolute minimum.”
This is fantastic for customers who are worried about the impact of their frozen food, as well as ensuring that it gets to its destination still at the optimum temperature. If you are looking for a food job and would like to work for a company which has this level of expertise, be sure to sign up for our job alerts here.
The development and growth of the Wakefield site has not been without challenges, according to the founder and Chief Executive, Bram Hage.
“This is the coming together of talented people, both from NewCold and our many supply partners and customers, to formulate a truly global consolidation of skills and recourses in the supply chain,” he said.